by HELEN GEIB
This month on Photo Play: after Kurosawa comes homage… the remake that’s a classic in its own right
Last Week: Throwdown (2004)
Coming Next: A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
I’m actually planning on watching this film sometime this week, for the first time. Yes, first time ever. Even though The Western is my favourite film genre and even though I’ve watched Battle Beyond the Stars, I respect Seven Samurai too much to have watched Magnificent Seven. But I will; I have to.
Think of it as completing the circle. “Seven Samurai” is indebted to Westerns after all.
It works because it’s not a carbon copy; the characters and relationships are reinterpreted for the setting. In some ways I actually prefer the remake. The characterization of several of the seven is more vivid and Eli Wallach’s bandit is a great addition.
Wallach is terrific choice for playing Kikuchiyo. Now I’m definitely going to watch the film this week!
Oh, he’s not the Kikuchiyo part. He plays the bandit chief, effectively a new character as that part is really built up for the remake. You’ll see what I mean about it not being a carbon copy when you watch it; only a few of the characters have a direct one to one counterpart in the remake.
Does the character of Kyuzo exist in MS? Kyuzo is the stern-looking samurai that the farmers find in the streets dueling with another man, and who wins with a single bow.
Man, I cant wait to watch this film!
I wonder…. No, really, no more spoilers from me. :D
I saw and loved “The Magnificent Seven” years before I knew “Seven Samurai” existed. Obviously I can’t say for sure how I would have responded if I’d seen them in the other order, but I feel pretty confident I would have enjoyed the Western version just as much. Especially as “Seven Samurai” is great cinema but I don’t love it the way I love my favorite Kurosawas.
Same here. I find Seven Samurai to be a magnificent, majestic, and glorious achievement, and possibly the one that got me seriously interested in films, in general. But it’s not a favourite. I can’t watch it a million times like I can certain other Kurosawas (Rashomon, Drunken Angel, etc.)
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